Southern yeast rolls are a delicious holiday tradition.
Southern Parker House Yeast Rolls
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup, 8 tablespoons) butter, 3 of the tablespoons melted, remaining butter, softened
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1/4 cup warm water (not hot)
4-to 5 cups flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups scalded milk
Place yeast, sugar, 2 tablespoons of the butter, shortening and salt in a heavy ceramic bowl; pour water over the mixture. Set aside until mixture becomes foamy (proofs), about 5 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup of the flour; stir in eggs. Add flour, alternating with milk, until mixture reaches the consistency of a sticky cookie dough. Cover with a cloth; place in a warm place until mixture doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Turn half the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle with flour. Knead, adding a bit of flour as needed until dough loses stickiness.To make 18 rolls, place half the dough into a resealable food storage bag and refrigerate to use within 36 hours. To make about 36 rolls, leave half the dough covered and lightly oiled in the bowl while working with the first half.
Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness with a buttered and floured rolling pin. Cut into 2-inch circles with a buttered and floured cutter or the edge of a glass. Fold circle in half; pinch a piece of butter into the crease of the roll. Pinch edge lightly to hold. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover with a tea towel; let rise 1 hour.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt remaining butter for brushing during and after baking. Bake until rolls puff and begin to harden without browning, about 6 minutes. Brush with melted butter. Continue baking until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside 4 to 5 minutes. Remove rolls from pan; brush lightly with melted butter.